Audience Reactions to “I Never Needed You”

AUDIENCE REACTIONS: Photography 405 Creative Projects
Assignment 5: Ambiguity and Clarity

This was such an interesting exercise! Professor Rubin had us ask a combination of strangers and people we know, both with a background in the arts and without any artistic interest at all, to look at our photos from Assignment 5: Ambiguity. We weren’t allowed to provide our viewers with any context or background story and then we were to compare their reaction to what we had intended the photos to represent initially. Almost everyone gave me different reactions and only one person, Matt, gave me a reaction kind of similar to what my classmates talked about in critique. I was kind of mind blown. Below are the comments from each of the individuals I asked. You can view the series, I Never Needed You, below, or visit the original post on my blog here.

Chuck, age 64, Economic Developer: “I like these photos … very unique colors … the wall hangings look like they are from somewhere in Albania or maybe closer to the Middle East … Picture one has a hint of China or Tibet or maybe even Kazakhstan. Picture two looks like it was reversed somehow. All of the subjects look comfortable and warm in their winter socks. Relaxed and warm on a cold winter day is conveyed by the colors and by the subjects.”

John, age 20, Psychology major at Penn State University: “I really like them. Got that chill ass good vibe, stoner feel I think. I like the purple hue a lot too.”

Dan, age 21, Business major at Penn State University: “Alright so what I’m seeing/feeling is just like the idea of complete comfort. With the first picture just setting the scene, very peaceful and calming with lots of colors and pillows. And then all of the people in the pictures just perfectly relaxed and without looking like they have a care in the world. ”

Matt, age 31, Architect: “The lighting is quite beautiful, picking up the purples and pinks, making the wallpaper almost vibrate, while giving it dimension. But the lighting also somehow appears seedy, as if the neon lights from the red light district are shining through the window, casting these hues. That impression is probably also coming from the strangely provocative poses by the three male subjects on the unkept bed. Johns calmly awaiting service…”

Mackenzie, age 20, Russian Studies major at Syracuse University: “Photo 1) looks like the aftermath of a post night out hookup, i like the color contrast. Photo 2) looks like he was asked to pose for a picture but didn’t know how to pose, just chillin. Photo 3) he looks like he’s seducing someone, I like the picture though, it’s very intriguing, not sure what it’s about. Photo 4) looks like he was mid conversation or high, very hipster.”

Image 1 Feb2015_Ambiguity_Aram Feb2015_Ambiguity_SamFeb2015_Ambiguity_Evan


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